So you have a LinkedIn profile. Now what? How can it help you to find your next job?
Professional recruiters have been some of the first to realise the power of LinkedIn as a source of potential candidates. They can easily target those actively looking for work but also take advantage of approaching the ‘passive’ market that would be open to the right opportunity if it came their way.
A quick Google search will find you a variety of surveys that indicate that anywhere from 60% – 80% of jobs are now found through networking. LinkedIn was created as a tool to allow you to connect with your professional and personal contacts and stay up to date with where they are now.
So how can you make sure you are making the most of LinkedIn when searching for work?
1. The devil is in the detail
Do you have a photo? Have you filled in all the sections of your profile? Does it include searchable key words from your profession or industry?
Simply having a profile is not enough. The search engine in LinkedIn works like Google, it prioritises profiles that are complete and include lots of detail. Make sure you include a summary and detail your skills and experience to give the reader a good feel for you. While you can copy straight from your CV, ensure you save the detail for the areas of your experience that will have the most appeal.
2. Scream it to the world
Name, photo and headline are the first impression of your profile but so many people just list their job title. You have 120 characters to work with so why not use them to provide more detail.
For example, instead of ‘Project Manager’, you could try ‘Civil Engineer with 15 years experience in Project Management, specialising in infrastructure and commercial projects’ or ‘Administration professional with 10 years experience looking for my next career opportunity.’
3. Get interactive
LinkedIn provides a number of ways for you to interact with your connections and others in your industry. Do you take the time to endorse the skills of others? They may then do the same for you. You can also share articles, join groups that are relevant to your profession and participate in discussion forums.
Every time you interact on LinkedIn, it shows up in the activity broadcast of your network, indicating that you are keeping up with what is happening in your profession and keeping you on the radar of your connections.
4. Are you professionally searchable?
Just because you may be working in an industry that may not utilise LinkedIn to search for candidates, doesn’t mean you should not have a profile. Think of it as part of your online ‘branding’. Potential employers often Google candidates and it Makes you to appear up to date with technology and provide a professional face to the world.
So if you are like so many out there with a barely populated profile, why not make the time to make the most of this under utilised job search tool.